Consider eating the following foods when you have the flu or a cold. Food is what gives your body the energy and nutrients it needs to function and these foods may help keep you nourished and hydrated during an illness.
Broth is one of the best things you can eat when you have the flu. Broth helps prevent dehydration, and the warm elements can help soothe a sore throat and relieve congestion. Choose chicken, beef, or vegetable broth.
2. Chicken soup
Chicken soup combines the benefits of broth along with additional ingredients. Cut-up chicken provides your body with iron and protein, and you’ll also gain nutrients from carrots, herbs, and celery.
3. Vitamin C–containing fruits
Vitamin C is an important nutrient to help your immune system. While supplements can help, your body can absorb nutrients like vitamin C more effectively from the foods you eat. Some fruits high in vitamin C include strawberries, kiwi, mango, pineapple and citrus fruits.
When you’re sick, a hot bowl of oatmeal can be a soothing, nutritious food choice. Oatmeal, like other whole grains, is also a natural source of immune-boosting vitamin E. It also contains polyphenol antioxidants as well as immune-strengthening beta-glucan fiber.
5. Vitamin E containing foods
Foods such as broccoli, spinach, kale, and other leafy greens can also help boost your immune system when you have the flu. They have both vitamin C and vitamin E, another immune-enhancing nutrient.
6. Staying hydrated
It’s easy to get dehydrated with the flu. Not only do you eat and drink less and have an overall reduced water intake, but you also lose water with sweat when you have a fever. Not only are fluids important for your body functions in general, but they can also help break up congestion and stave off infections. When it comes to hydrating beverages, water is still the best choice. It also acts as a natural detox for your body. If you aren’t a fan of water or are looking for something with more flavor, you can also drink: broth, ginger tea, herbal tea with honey, honey and lemon tea (mix equal parts with hot water). 100% juices (look for products without added sugars), Low-sugar sports drinks or other electrolyte-containing beverages, such as Pedialyte, may be used if you’re dehydrated only.